You’re Not Alone …

Arguably, these may be the three important words to say to a newly diagnosed cancer patient. I am sure that this would be questioned by many, but for me, these are my three most important words to Brenda as we face what is to be.  We had our “big day” this past Thursday that I alluded to in my last post, and we are both able to tell you that it was a relief to get that point in our journey where we can now refer to it as “what has been.”

You’re not alone. The theme for today’s blog and my trademark quote as the theme and the message come from the second verse of a song. Quotations can come from many different places, and quotations speak to each of us in an individual way. It’s interesting when you do research on a quote, and much of the research that is done these days is on the internet as we all know. Many of the versions of the quotes that come up on Google have slight variations in their wording. The connotations and the interpretation can seem the same, but the addition or deletion of a single word can also dramatically change the meaning. Today’s quote, these three little words, come from a song that I ran across recently from Rascal Flatts. I am not a huge country music fan by any means, although there are some genre’s of country and some country artists that I really do enjoy.

On Thursday, our appointment with Brenda’s surgeon was interesting to say the least. At one point near the middle of the appointment, we looked at each other as he left the room and I whispered to her as to ask her she thought of him. Brenda whispered back that she thought he was too casual, but I liked that about him. He was definitely casual, but he was also showing a side that was caring and yet professional, and to me that spoke volumes and as we went through our list of questions that we had prepared the night before. The casual, yet caring and professional style in which he answered our questions gave us the proper information from the surgeon, and the cancer information packet we received from him at the conclusion of the appointment has also helped answer many of our questions and alleviate some of our fears. We now knew what we were facing, and he prepared us for the next big step in the journey so we could now face the next milestone with Brenda’s surgery scheduled for December 2nd. There will be new dates and new milestones to face after the surgery, but we will take all of this one day at a time. Together.

I saw an interesting analogy the other day, when I was Googling and I read a post from somebody else that had received the same diagnosis on breast cancer themselves. I have lost the URL now, it is somewhere in the maze of information and lost links that began when I was first doing my research and searching for answers to all of this. I tried to identify with what this other brave woman was saying and wanted to share. She felt like she was laying at the bottom of a swimming pool, with her family and friends standing at the pools edge and yelling and gesturing down to her as to what she needed to do and what she needed to read and what they wanted to do to help her. Obviously none of this was getting through to her, as the pool was effectively filtering all of the information, both aurally and visually so that she could see and hear that there was something going on and that people were trying to help her, but the messages were not getting through. I thought that Brenda must be feeling exactly like that, and that I may have been one of those family members who was standing at the pool’s edge. It became apparent to me that the best thing to do here was to lay at the bottom of the pool with Brenda so that I could help her filter what we were seeing and hearing, and we could then deal with and face the next steps in this journey. It was the best place for me to be, down there with her. It’s where we belong together, that way she’s not alone.

My quote for this entry is the second verse from a song . I’m going to check out more on this group now and see about adding some of the music of Rascal Flatts to my collection. I hope you all enjoy. Feel free to click the link or paste it into your browser from below.

“You think you’re lost. But you’re not lost on your own. You’re not alone.” – Rascal Flatts

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqrR8AgTo_A&feature=fvw

Epilogue

As we journey through this, Brenda and I invite any of you who do visit to place comments to any of the blogs on the site if you wish. I will advise you beforehand though, that as the blog owner I have the ability to preview and then approve or unapprove all comments that may come to this blog before they appear as published on the site. Hopefully you find that somewhat comforting. I believe that will be an important consideration for each of you if you do want to leave comments, because on each and every comment I will edit out any reference to your e-mail or that the program may leave should you decide to comment. This is a public blog, and I want to keep it that way because it is just easier for friends and family to access it and not have to join up for a WordPress.com account. But, as a public blog, others may stumble across it and I just think it appropriate that no reference as to the origin of a comment and the e-mail it came from not be there.

There. We are at the bottom of the pool, feel free to join us if you like. As always, take care …

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13 thoughts on “You’re Not Alone …

  1. Well written Keith. I must admit I was like you too standing at the edge of the pool trying to give mom advice on holistic approaches, I am sorry for that and realized that’s not helpful to mom. So now I’ll jump in the pool and join both of you!

  2. Hi Keith. I followed a link from a comment you left on “life is funny” and was interested to read your thoughts and feelings about your current situation and just thought I would share with you in case it may help.

    No you are not alone, I am probably walking a little bit in front of you because, yesterday my husband had, what I hope will be, the final PET scan after 8 months of surgery, chemotherapy and treatment for cancer….and I know exactly what you mean with the analogy of the swimming pool. At times I have felt as if we were descending into a cave with no idea where the bottom was and also stumbling in the dark along the bottom of the cave with no idea how to get out, vaguely hearing the muffled voices of those on the outside.

    I already had a little blog. Where I documented my life, and it seems so frivolous now, but since April 18th 2013 my blog has become my outlet, as I have documented the emotional roller coaster we have been riding together.. If this has helped anybody else I would be so pleased, but mainly I have written down my thoughts and feelings for myself.

    Now, (hopefully) near the end, I am exhausted and stumbling a little, probably as you say in the “depression” stage of the grief, for our lives as we knew it have been lost and we have been forced to face our mortality. But I feel we have reached the top of a mountain. ( pardon the mixed metaphors) and in my last entry I wrote. “I am not any sort of brave, self sacrificing, martyr, floating around in a pink bubble of gratitude, who has cheerfully carried on as if nothing is happening. I am just an ordinary woman, dealing with a situation however I can and I have good days and bad”
    .
    I am not one to give advice, because everyone is different and you will both find your own coping strategies for this difficult journey you are about to embark on.. I can only share my own experience. My strategies were to meditate each morning and try to take one day at a time, to acknowledge how I felt that day good, bad, frightened, despairing, grateful. self pitying (which is SO exhausting), tired or whatever . To actively find something positive each day, even if it was only that it was raining!. then to try to move on with my day. ……My husbands strategy was denial and not to have ANY negative talk around him, he says he pretended it was happening to somebody else. Sometimes I found this difficult, but I have to respect his way.

    One of the positive results is that this cancer has brought our relationship, much closer. I didn’t realise JUST how much I loved him. Now as we await the results of the final scan.it is bitter sweet. In some way this is one of the most difficult things because hope is within reach. Up to this point we have just been concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other., but now we have lifted up our faces and can see the light.

    Whatever the outcome, I know we will never be the same again.

    All my best wishes to you both as you start on this journey, there will probably be difficult times ahead and it is not sentimental twaddle when I say I am here for you any time.

    Love
    Denise

    • Hi Denise … thanks for your comment and your best wishes. I can’t tell you how much they will mean to us and the fact that you took the time to pen a blog within a blog! Actually, your words of encouragement and the fact that you took time away from your own writings helped immensely, and I will now look forward to reading more of your writings once I find the time. With what I saw of your own blog,you’re a very prolific writer, but I don’t think I will even try and keep up with you! Thanks again, it is nice to receive caring and friendly thought waves from across cyberspace, and especially from people who have gone before us on this path. It helps us find to our own personal direction. Take care …

  3. Feeling safe with your doctor(s) is really important. When I had my hip replacement in 2012, I ditched the first surgeon I saw — arrogant, rude, not the person I wanted to cut me open and be vulnerable to for the next decade or two. The doctor I did choose was perfect for me, and I felt as safe and comfortable as anyone can in those scary situations.

    At times like this, you feel so totally lost and disoriented that you need a guide you absolutely trust. Best of luck to you and your wife.

    • I couldn’t agree more on the safety factor with respect to ones doctor. Of course, we all understand the importance of having a good GP and family doctor, but a surgeon is that much more personal and our goal is definitely to feel safe. Once we get to the chemo, which is the next stage once Brenda heals we are definitely going to need that trust factor with the oncologists who will be directing the course of the chemo. Thanks for your support, it means a lot …

    • It’s the support of people such as yourself who have gone before us that give us so much hope as Brenda goes through her battle, with me by her side the entire way of course. And especially with you having battled it since 2001 shows us the power of having a positive outlook. Thanks so much for your support and comments, they mean a lot to Brenda and I …

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